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Young man and women sitting on beach in front of Apollo rental campervan

 
Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

Best Time to Visit NT.

Planning an Australia road trip through the Northern Territory (NT)? Great choice! Whether you're keen to witness the majestic Uluru, dive into the natural and wild beauty of Kakadu National Park, or simply soak up the vast attractions in and around Darwin City, you're in for a treat in the Territory. 

But if you are wondering when is the best time to visit Darwin and Kakadu – or the best time to visit the Northern Territory in general – we have all the insider tips to help you plan your Northern Territory campervan hire adventure. Stick around as we guide you through the seasons, offering tips and insights to make your Australia road trip unforgettable.  

 

What’s the NT known for?

The NT is a state of extremes, from the scorching desert surrounding the red rocks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to the lush waterfalls and swimming holes of Kakadu National Park. Aside from the wild weather, the Northern Territory is renowned for its ancient Aboriginal culture and rugged outdoor adventures. It's an adventurer's paradise, offering everything from hiking and camping to exploring ancient rock art. 

The NT also stuns with its remote Outback towns, unique wildlife, and star-filled skies. The NT is where stories of the land are etched into every raw and wild landscape, offering a deep connection to Australia's heritage and natural beauty.

 

What’s the best way to explore the Northern Territory?

Hands down, the best way to see the NT is in the comfort of a campervan. Why? Freedom, flexibility, and the sheer joy of the open road. With an Apollo campervan, you can wake up and head in to see the sunrise over Uluru, have lunch beside a crocodile-inhabited billabong in Kakadu (in the safety of your campervan, of course), and catch the sunset from a hot spring in Mataranka—all in one week if you're ambitious enough. 

A campervan lets you tailor your travel itinerary, avoiding the constraints of hotel bookings and tour schedules. Plus, it's a fantastic way to bond with family or friends, creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether it's a rugged Australia road trip through the Outback or a leisurely drive exploring the northern coastline near Darwin, a campervan is your ticket to exploring the NT's hidden gems at your own pace.

Image: Thomas Wielecki

 

When is the best time to visit the Northern Territory?

Deciding when to visit the Northern Territory (NT) really comes down to what you want from your adventure. The NT flips the script on the usual Australian weather patterns, offering two distinct seasons: the Dry and the Wet. Each has charm and challenges and is bound to shape your experience in this vast and varied landscape. Do you dream of clear blue skies and open roads, or does the allure of thunderous waterfalls and lush landscapes sound like your cup of tea? Let's dive into the specifics to help you mark those calendar dates.

 

Visiting NT in Dry Season (May to October)

The Dry Season is the all-star player of the NT tourism scene (and for good reason). This season is known for its mild temperatures, endless clear skies, and the kind of low humidity that makes outdoor adventures a breeze. It's the perfect backdrop for a campervan Australia road trip, especially if you snag one of the 4WD campers for greater access to the NT's rugged beauty.

During these months, the accessibility game is strong. Roads and attractions throw open their doors, welcoming travellers with open arms. It's a time when the NT's unique flora and fauna take centre stage, with wildlife gatherings at waterholes offering unmatched photo ops. For the adventurers looking to get a little off-the-beaten-track, a 4WD camper from Apollo's fleet is the best way to make the most of all the seasonal openings. Can’t find the camper you are after? Our partner brand Britz Campervans also has great 4WD camper options for exploring the Northern Territory. 

Why is the Dry Season the MVP? Beyond the practical perks of great weather and open roads, this is the best time to visit the Northern Territory to witness the vibrant and diverse ecosystems of the Top End. The landscapes are vast, the skies are dramatic, and the nights are cool enough to enjoy a campfire under the stars. It's the quintessential Australia road trip experience, making it the preferred option and the best time to visit the NT for those looking to immerse themselves in the NT fully. 

 

Visiting NT in Wet Season (November to April)

The Wet Season in the NT is a whole other game. This season runs from November until April and is known for the regular monsoons that bring rain (and we mean a lot of rain). This rainfall often leads to occasional road closures. And let’s talk about the heat. Average daily temperatures reach 35 degrees, however, the rain means high humidity - up to 80%! The average rainfall during the wet season is over 1,500mm and the chance of tropical cyclones and lightning storms increase. For these reasons, our Darwin branches, and many of Darwin city attractions, take a seasonal break from 1 December to 31 March. 

With that all in mind, the Wet Season is truly a spectacle of nature's power and beauty. The waterfalls of Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks swell to epic proportions, creating natural wonders that are truly humbling. The landscape is reborn, with vibrant greens and the life-giving force of water everywhere you look. It's a photographer's dream and an adventurer's paradise (albeit with more planning and flexibility required).

The Wet Season holds a unique appeal for those who seek a campervan adventure on the path less travelled. The thunderstorms are a dramatic backdrop to the ancient landscapes, and the post-rain freshness that envelops the air is invigorating. It's the best time to visit the NT if you're after the full sensory experience of this region’s natural beauty, minus the crowds. However, you will need to come prepared for the unexpected and embrace the adventure that comes with the territory—literally. 

Choosing between the Dry and Wet seasons in the NT is about weighing the type of experience you're after against the practicalities of travel. Both seasons have their highlights and their hurdles, but the Dry Season is by far the best time to visit the NT. Still, one thing's for sure: No matter when you visit, the Northern Territory offers an unforgettable adventure. 

 

Where to stay in the Northern Territory

When you're roaming the Northern Territory (NT) in a campervan, the world is your oyster. However, even the most intrepid adventurers need a place to kick back, relax, and do a load of laundry. Let's explore three top spots to stay in the Northern Territory that combine convenience with natural beauty, making them a perfect base to stop at when exploring the region.

 

Tumbling Waters Holiday Park

Nestled in a tranquil location that's a stone's throw from Darwin, Tumbling Waters Holiday Park is an oasis of calm and a fantastic base for those exploring the Top End in a campervan. With a range of facilities, including a saltwater pool (because who needs chlorine when you're this close to nature?), BBQ areas for that essential Aussie cookout, and even a licensed bar, it's practically a holiday within a holiday.

But what makes Tumbling Waters stand out is its proximity to some of the NT's natural treasures. You're in prime position to explore Litchfield National Park, with its stunning waterfalls and swimming holes. The park's serene setting is perfect for those who want to enjoy the NT's natural beauty while having a comfortable base to return to each evening.  

 

Oasis Tourist Park

If you're after a friendly, welcoming spot to set up camp just a short drive from Darwin, look no further than Oasis Tourist Park. Located just 20 minutes from Darwin, this park is your gateway to the Top End.  Facilities here include a sparkling swimming pool, a camp kitchen, and BBQ facilities—because no Australia road trip is complete without a few meals cooked under the stars. The park's central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the iconic sights of Darwin as well as the nearby Litchfield and Kakadu National Park. 

 

Hidden Valley Holiday Park

Hidden Valley Holiday Park is a gem tucked away in the lush surroundings of Darwin, offering a peaceful retreat that's still conveniently close to the city's attractions. This park understands the needs of campervan travellers, with well-appointed sites that ensure your stay is both comfortable and memorable. They even have regular entertainment, such as wildlife shows held by the local Crocodile Park and local musicians.

What sets BIG4 Hidden Valley apart are its lush tropical gardens and modern facilities, including a swimming pool, kids' playground, and BBQ areas. It's a place where you can relax after a day's exploration of Darwin and its surroundings, including the famous Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.  

Image: Thomas Wielecki

 

Looking for things to do in the Northern Territory?

The Northern Territory (NT) is an adventurer's playground, bursting at the seams with activities. Whether you're drawn to the spiritual heart of Australia at Uluru, keen to croc-spot in the wilds of Kakadu, or ready to soak in the rich Aboriginal culture and history, the NT delivers in spades. If you're on the hunt for inspiration or want to ensure you're ticking off the top sights and experiences, we've got you covered with our Northern Territory guides. Here are a few of our top guides to give you a little inspiration on things to do in the Northern Territory:

 

Ready for your next adventure?

The Northern Territory is wild, diverse, and an all-around epic destination for an Australia road trip. From the spiritual allure of Uluru to the wild beauty of Kakadu, the NT is a testament to Australia's raw, unfiltered nature. The best way to explore? Behind the wheel of an Apollo campervan where freedom meets the open road and every sunrise promises a new adventure. Whether you prefer the clear skies and mild temperatures of the Dry Season or the lush landscapes and thunderous waterfalls of the Wet Season, the NT doesn't disappoint.

Ready to hit the road? Book your Apollo camper online, pick it up from any Apollo branch across the country, and start your journey through the wild Top End of Australia. The NT awaits, with open roads, breathtaking vistas, and experiences that will etch themselves into your memory forever.

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